Talk

Advanced search

AIBU to ask why can’t racist and those who in engage in racially prejudiced behaviour take ownership and just admit who you are?

(110 Posts)
DRWP Fri 05-Jun-20 22:04:38

AIBU to ask why can’t racist and those who in engage in racially prejudiced behaviour take ownership and just admit who you are?

Instead, you use racial micro aggressions, passive aggressive language, pejorative terms, excuses such as “it was normal in my day, it’s a generation thing” to justify your racism.
Do you think saying “I’m not a racist/prejudiced…but…” hides who you really are inside?

Over the last few days I have been watching a few threads both here and on another site. The level of ignorance displayed has been a real eye-opener. Even when posters have been confronted about the use of their offensive language and terminology, the wilfully ignorant have refused to check their behaviour and resort to the well-known tactic so beloved of the ignorant of calling people, snowflakes, politically correct, social justice warriors and so on. The people with the power refuse to acknowledge this power and acknowledge the inequalities happening right before their eyes.

An Irish poster on another site asked a question about the use of a well-known racial slur against her community. The first few posts confirmed what the poster already believed and she decided not to stay and educate the poster’s ignorance. The racists from the other thread piled over to her thread with their same nonsense. That was such a pity as it would have given her an opportunity to start a proper conversation about why some people feel the need to be racist and exhibit racially prejudiced behaviours.

If you are racist/prejudiced, just take ownership. This way, people can make an informed decision whether they want to interact with you and not have to waste time and energy deciphering your coded racist/prejudiced views.

OP’s posts: |
amusedtodeath1 Sat 06-Jun-20 07:44:37

Because very few people are consciously racist these days, in this country. Yes some are and proud of it too. Everyone else feels a bit defensive when told it's their fault because they genuinely don't see it.

It's not willful ignorance, it really baffles people, if you are told all white people are responsible for racism and you have never been racist then it's kind of hard to take. I certainly don't see how white children can be guilty of anything, they inherited this, just like I did, just like you did.

We can't change the past but we can work side by side to create a more equal society.

DRWP Sat 06-Jun-20 17:29:40

Taking the "accidental racists" out of the equation, I am referring to people who even when they are confronted with clear evidence of their prejudices and discriminatory behaviours continue to be in denial that they are racist/prejudiced. To be clear: this is not a question about black vs white. It is about people who hold racist and/or discriminatory views not taking ownership of them.

OP’s posts: |
VettiyaIruken Sat 06-Jun-20 17:31:19

They won't see it / admit it.

Who is going to stand up and say, yeah, I'm a racist sack of shit ?

People prefer to believe in the lie that they are decent

Elsiebear90 Sat 06-Jun-20 17:38:26

In their heads what is racist is completely different to what a lot of us see as racist. They think racism is being openly abusive to non white people, refusing to associate with etc. They only see extreme racism as racism, therefore, they genuinely don’t view themselves as racist. They’re also pig headed and won’t ever admit they’re wrong.

I have family members of Facebook who are openly racist and they have been sharing posts supporting BLM and I just think to myself “you are the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever seen, practice what you preach!”. It didn’t take long for their true colours to show again though with their rampant support of Trump, condemnation of the protests and support of police brutality on protestors (they can’t see the irony in that). I honestly believe they are deluded.

FriendlyDog Sat 06-Jun-20 17:38:59

They think they are right, good people. After all they cannot be racist because they had a black friend or helped an asian person out.
Because to them racism means absolute deathly hatred to all others and they dont see what they feel and do as that.

WiddlinDiddlin Sat 06-Jun-20 17:39:21

I think the very worst kind of racists, those who openly, brazenly state their disgusting opinions, join the KKK or have secret white supremacy symbols, DO wear the 'racist' badge rather proudly in many cases.

Therefore the people who are ignorant, narrow minded, discriminatory because they have never really thought about it, can't empathise, have zero concept of thoughts other than their own, react defensively when it is suggested they are racist, where 'racist = probably a member of the KKK, likely to stab a black person or set them on fire'.

Further down the line, those who are accidentally racist, those who are white and told they are racist simply because they are white, etc etc are REALLY defensive.....

And so it goes.

I don't know what the solution is, but some of whats going on currently is simply furthering the 'othering' and 'them and us-ing' and quite probably slowing education and causing potential anti-racists and black allies to react with a defensive 'well fuck you then' attitude.

Of course none of this matters as its my opinion, I am white therefore my opinion is actually worthless.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 06-Jun-20 17:39:22

Because people like to think of themselves as 'good'.

Because actually doing a self-inventory is painful and exhausting.

Because fish don't see the water. being raised in a racist country with racist history, racist maps, books and TV, racist ancestors and an economy and infrastructure based on racism means chances are you're a little bit racist. Which is very hard to look at.

FriendlyDog Sat 06-Jun-20 17:40:16

Yeah ive seen some family members posting and going to the marches when i know for a fact they are bigots and racists. So hard not to say anything.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sat 06-Jun-20 17:40:19

No one likes to be the baddie.

DC3dilemma Sat 06-Jun-20 17:43:24

The vast majority of racial discrimination in this world occurs subconsciously.

We are primed by our biology to discriminate. The human brain has to deal with so much information, it takes shortcuts by assimilating information in a formulaic way creating simple prototypes/stereotypes and categories...that we rely on to make quick judgements about any new situation or person we come across.

Because of this it is really important that we aren’t lazy in the creation of and reliance on stereotypes in the world outside our own brains...and even more importantly we need to recognise that we are primed to have these biases so we acknowledge the need to set up systems which account for this and ensure that subconscious biases are rectified by our conscious selves.

What’s needed is greater education in relation to this, from a young age, in a way that allows people to talk openly about their biases and how they overcome them without being vilified. This also means acknowledging the undoubtable privileges that some groups gain via the same processes.

Those with views as you describe are a minority, but we create more of them by failing to acknowledge these innate human characteristics.

amijustparanoidorjuststoned Sat 06-Jun-20 17:43:35

Oh, half of my dad's side of the family are openly racist, giving the excuses you have mentioned above. "It's a generational thing, I'm racist but at least I admit it".

It's fucking abhorrent and needless to say I don't speak to those people.

amijustparanoidorjuststoned Sat 06-Jun-20 17:44:23

@TrollTheRespawnJeremy and yet so many people are.

MiddleClassProblem Sat 06-Jun-20 17:45:49

Another reason is that things have changed during their time as to what is “acceptable” and they haven’t changed with it. Therefore they think it’s ok because it was once.

FriendlyDog Sat 06-Jun-20 17:47:54

The company they keep and the people they look up to are just as racist so they normalise it.

darwin301 Sat 06-Jun-20 17:58:46

I read somewhere that racism is assumed to be conscious behaviours and choices but in reality the majority of racism is due to unconscious biases. People believe if they aren't consciously racist then they can't be racist

Livelovebehappy Sat 06-Jun-20 18:00:50

Things are very different today to what they were even 20 years ago. The same as attitudes towards LGBT. People born in the last 20 years have been raised and educated to view everyone as equal, but I think it’s going to be many years before the racist and homophobic attitudes we see today totally goes away, because there are still people in society that were born and raised into a different mindset. My DCs views are absolutely different to the views of my elderly mother, who I’m ashamed to say occasionally displays racist opinions still. And we call her out on it every single time. Racism is abhorrent, but I really feel that current and future generations will make sure that these conversations we are having now will be not be necessary one day.

DRWP Sat 06-Jun-20 19:06:27

WiddlinDiddlin

I think the very worst kind of racists, those who openly, brazenly state their disgusting opinions, join the KKK or have secret white supremacy symbols, DO wear the 'racist' badge rather proudly in many cases.

Therefore the people who are ignorant, narrow minded, discriminatory because they have never really thought about it, can't empathise, have zero concept of thoughts other than their own, react defensively when it is suggested they are racist, where 'racist = probably a member of the KKK, likely to stab a black person or set them on fire'.

Further down the line, those who are accidentally racist, those who are white and told they are racist simply because they are white, etc etc are REALLY defensive.....

And so it goes.

I don't know what the solution is, but some of whats going on currently is simply furthering the 'othering' and 'them and us-ing' and quite probably slowing education and causing potential anti-racists and black allies to react with a defensive 'well fuck you then' attitude.

Of course none of this matters as its my opinion, I am white therefore my opinion is actually worthless.

Everything you have said matters, irrespective of the colour of your skin. You have expressed an awareness of this issue and this tells me you are someone who may be willing to challenge racist/prejudiced/discriminatory behaviours as you see them.

OP’s posts: |
YankeeinKingArthursCourt Sat 06-Jun-20 19:21:08

Yes, I think it can be the difference between "Situational/ Individual" racism ( overt acts of hate / discrimination) vs "Systemic/ Institutional" racism ( political, financial, educational & other systems of power perpetuating racism).

Most people are not "individually" racist, but are part of a larger "Systemically" racist culture.

DRWP Sat 06-Jun-20 19:34:40

DC3dilemma

The vast majority of racial discrimination in this world occurs subconsciously.

We are primed by our biology to discriminate. The human brain has to deal with so much information, it takes shortcuts by assimilating information in a formulaic way creating simple prototypes/stereotypes and categories...that we rely on to make quick judgements about any new situation or person we come across.

Because of this it is really important that we aren’t lazy in the creation of and reliance on stereotypes in the world outside our own brains...and even more importantly we need to recognise that we are primed to have these biases so we acknowledge the need to set up systems which account for this and ensure that subconscious biases are rectified by our conscious selves.

What’s needed is greater education in relation to this, from a young age, in a way that allows people to talk openly about their biases and how they overcome them without being vilified. This also means acknowledging the undoubtable privileges that some groups gain via the same processes.

Those with views as you describe are a minority, but we create more of them by failing to acknowledge these innate human characteristics.

Interesting that you raise the issue of biology. I have read some neuroscience research which suggests that people without a healthy functioning prefrontal cortex allow their biases to control them, hence their biased views. So, if a child is exposed to unchallenged biases in their environment, their developing brains would assimilate these biases, therefore maturing into adults with biased views.

Most definitely agree about education and learning about differences in a safe space.

OP’s posts: |
Freezerrr Sat 06-Jun-20 20:14:45

@DRWP because they either think that they're right, or feel too ashamed to admit to themselves that they are racist

OoohTheStatsDontLie Sat 06-Jun-20 20:16:19

I dont think that many people are that able to or willing to admit 'I was wrong, I have learnt and I can do better'. I've never heard an abusive man say his view of women and his behaviour towards them has changed or a homophobe admit their views were clouded by ignorance etc and similarly racists aren't generally going to admit it either. Partly as I've said people dont like to admit they've been wrong and partly because even if they are happy being an out and out racist or woman beater etc they know that admitting that at the outset is going to make people hate them and make it more difficult to get their point across. Far better to say 'I hate whatever subset of people because (insert stereotype)' rather than 'because I'm a racist/ sexist etc'

rosiejaune Sat 06-Jun-20 20:26:36

My sister has been sharing BLM posts recently (having never shown the slightest interest before), but she locks her car doors when she drives through my area (which has a high proportion of black residents).

I have challenged her on this numerous times, but she insists she is not being racist and that it's justified because she once heard someone was carjacked on that road (which is miles long, and the incident wasn't on the part in my area).

DamnYouAutoCabbage Sat 06-Jun-20 20:49:59

@DRWP I did not realise that I was ignorant to my white privilege, that I hold racist views (I would lock the doors ect) and that I'm not as pc as I once thought. Until I had my eyes opened over this last week.

I'm ashamed to admit all of the above. It does however show that people need educating, we live in a bubble where we think we are not racist and people are equal. We are not.

I've reflected on the messages posted and am very grateful to the people who took the time to educate me.

DamnYouAutoCabbage Sat 06-Jun-20 20:52:26

*etc

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »